Libya: Amazigh freely celebrate New Year for only second time in centuries

Today The 13th of January 2013 is the first day of January 2963 in the Amazigh calendar. This new year has a special taste in Libya .The Libyan Amazigh are celebrating this new year freely for the second year in the past few centuries, because of the freedom that Libyans are enjoying after the success of the 17th February revolution.

Yesterday morning I attended the constitutional Rights Forum for the Amazigh of Libya in Tripoli. This gathering was meant to drum support for Amazigh rights, including instating the Amazigh language in the new constitution as an official language side by side with the Arabic language. The forum was organized by the local councils of all Amazigh towns in Libya. Guests were government officials, political party leaders, local and international human rights activists and civil organizations.

The comforting surprise was the participation of Mr. Mohamed Elmagharif, the president of the general national congress. He gave a very positive speech supporting the demands of the Libyan Amazigh.

We want to avoid a lot of problems that other multi national countries have suffered because of lack of freedom, the constitutional marginalization, and non-implementation of pluralism and equality. Such acts have led to political disasters, decades of war and eventually divided countries such as Sudan.

In Libya we have suffered decades of denial and sidelining under Ghadafi's rule. The regime never recognized the rights of the Amazigh citizens including their linguistic rights.

Now we would like the government to listen to our rightful demands; respecting our cultural and linguistic particularity, political inclusion, fairly sharing the richness of the country.

We want to live in our united free democratic country having the same rights and obligations that other Libyans enjoy.

At night a concert was held in Tripoli stadium celebrating new years eve. Over ten thousand people enjoyed a very special night where some local and foreign bands participated in the first Amazigh concert ever in Libya.


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The Constitutional Rights Forum for the Amazigh of Libya in Tripoli
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Date: 15/01/2013




Culture and Tradition
Indigenous Peoples

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